Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge

(2016)

When the order came to retreat, one man stayed.

Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) leads this World War II true story about Desmond Doss - a conscientious objector who went to war but refused to fire a bullet, choosing to enter the battlefield without a weapon. Directed by Mel Gibson.... More

In Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, Desmond Doss (Garfield) saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He believed the war was just, but killing was nevertheless wrong; he was the only American soldier in WWII to traverse the front lines without a weapon. As an army medic, Doss single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. He was the first conscientious objector to ever earn the Congressional Medal of Honor.Hide

Flicks Review

Mad Mel is back with a long-overdue follow-up to his greatest directing accomplishment, Apocalypto. His flirtations with fascinating, exotic period pieces told in extinct languages sadly seem behind him, however, as he's delivered a highly simplistic Hollywood heartstring-tugger.... More

The true story of Desmond Doss is an undeniably inspiring one; a testament to the resilience and kindness of the human spirit set against mankind's greatest evils. It's just a shame it's not told in a more interesting way.

Nailing the gravitas and pathos Gibson clearly intends is made difficult by the casting choices - Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn in particular. Many of the fake accents are hammered home just as hard as the score, too, which is distractingly on-the-nose with its blatant emotiveness.

Betraying the almost childish naivety of Gibson's storytelling is the intensity of the graphic violence. Gibson wants to show us that war is hell, even in his fairytale-like version of a true story, in which faith is the true hero. Faith, here, means the Christian faith of Doss, which is defiantly expressed as truth in a way that will spurn any viewer with a disdain for explicit religiousness.

The action direction is a mixed bag, but it mostly delivers handsomely. It does seem like your nose is being rubbed in the gore a bit excessively and there's a bit too much slow-mo – however, some sequences depicting the Battle of Okinawa are visceral and thrilling. But should they be?

It ends up with a fairly confused message something like... pacifism is awesome, but violence is also awesome, but God is the most awesome.

Despite its lofty goals as award bait, this is only a mildly satisfying war film and just a somewhat captivating character study. It could've been so much more powerful if it were made with more restraint.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 11 ratings, 7 reviews
Reviewed & Rated by
Your rating & review
Rate / Review this movie

With the possible exception of Fury, this is the best war movie since Saving Private Ryan.


BY KennethP91 superstar

Hacksaw Ridge is directed by Mel Gibson and it stars Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Teresa Palmer and Hugo Weaving.

Hacksaw Ridge tells the true story of a World War II Medic Desmond Doss who refused to use a firearm during the Battle of Okinawa.

Mel Gibson is back with another war epic and glad to say, for a ten year hiatus from directing, Mel Gibson hasn’t lost his touch. You can tell there’s a beat by beat structure with the story-telling in this movie and Mel Gibson... More hits those beats perfectly.

From the first to the third act everything in this movie flowed just right giving it a cohesive pacing and with a two hour and twenty minutes running time, you never feel bored.

The performances were great, Andrew Garfield in particular was amazing. The rest of the cast was also great, Vince Vaughn who’s usually a comedic actor, was surprising in this film showing that he can also do serious roles at times.

Unfortunately the movie has some flaws, one of it being the CGI during the war scenes, where you can notice when they used a green screen and it didn’t mix with the more practical effects they had.

Overall Hacksaw Ridge is Mel Gibson showing he’s still got it, amidst the controversy that surrounded him years ago. There’s no denying that he’s still a great story-teller on screen. He knows how to structure a story well and pace well enough to make you pay attention until the credits roll.

The performances in this movie were great and the war scenes were vicious and incredible. The movie is extremely violent and highlights the horrors of war but the movie in general has a lot of heart. Hacksaw Ridge is highly recommended for everyone.Hide


BY Newt superstar

Most of the movie plays out as you would expect of a war movie - shocking, brutal and graphic portrayals of the horrors of war delivered at break-neck speed. This is no easy feat and deserves attention. The anti-war, conscientious objector side of the movie is very strong at the beginning but it feels like the message gets diluted a little towards the final act. Andrew Garfield is far more bearable here than he is as a twitchy Peter Parker in the Amazing Spider-Man movies.


BY cinemusefilm superstar

Good war-films are very disturbing to watch. The dramatic realism of modern digital effects spares little and many audiences will find Hacksaw Ridge (2016) one of the most violent sensory assaults that can be experienced in a cinema. If it were not a true story that celebrates an unusual hero the film could have been accused of a gratuitous display of unrelenting carnage and military triumphalism.

The film plays in two halves: the early life and romance of Army Medic Desmond Doss (Andrew... More Garfield) and the actual Battle of Hacksaw Ridge. Raised in bible belt Virginia, Doss had a troubled upbringing under an abusive father. A devout Seventh-day Adventist, he swore never to commit violence or even carry a weapon but felt duty-bound to enlist in the Army. Not long after meeting the one love of his life, nurse Dorothy Schutte (Teresa Palmer), he enlisted with the belief that he could serve his God unarmed and without killing enemy soldiers.

Branded a coward and bullied to leave, he was eventually granted conscientious objector status and became one of the troops sent to capture Hacksaw Ridge in the Battle of Okinawa of May 1945. While the assault was forced to retreat under overwhelming enemy fire, Doss remained behind and single-handedly evacuated 75 casualties, lowering them by rope from an escarpment over 100 metres high. The Ridge was eventually captured and Doss became one of the most decorated heroes of World War II.

The heroism depicted in this story is of such an extraordinary magnitude that it can easily overwhelm any consideration of the film’s merits. With an uncomplicated and factual narrative arc, the story rests on two pillars: acting and filming. On both scores, this film deserves high praise. While the early life and romance chapter drifts towards melodrama, Garfield is cast to perfection as the wide-eyed and straight talking man of unshakeable principle and Palmer convincingly plays his adorable emotional anchor. Together with a strong support cast that includes several big-name stars, this is a powerful ensemble that carries the story convincingly.

The most outstanding element of this film, however, is its powerhouse hyper-realistic cinematography and spectacular set constructions that relentlessly convey the brutality of war. While it is an outstanding technical production, giving spectacle precedence over narrative is the film’s Achilles Heel. One or maybe a few helmeted heads shredded or bodies bayonetted can convey much, but twenty deadens the senses. If ever there was a case where less could have been more, this is it. Otherwise this is a gripping film with forceful storytelling about a remarkable war hero.Hide


BY Geronimo superstar

One of the best movies of the year. Mel Gibson knows how to make a movie that is moving and real. This is a true story done very well. This movie ranks up there with "Saving Private Ryan" for showing the horrors of war but also the bravery and humanity within a context of the inhumanity of war. This movie like Mel's other movies is well worth the trip to the cinema.


Showing 5 of 7 reviews. See all reviews

The Press Reviews

92% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • It immerses you in the violent madness of war - and, at the same time, it roots its drama in the impeccable valour of a man who, by his own grace, refuses to have anything to do with war. Full Review

  • As repellent a figure as many may still find Gibson, I have to report he's absolutely hit Hacksaw Ridge out of the park. Full Review

  • Gibson's forceful comeback is a violent drama about pacifism that succeeds in combining horror with grace. Full Review

  • There aren't many shades of grey in 'Hacksaw Ridge', but it follows through its purpose with vigour, confidence and swagger. Full Review

  • ...undeniably moving...a well-crafted tale of the valour of man in truly harrowing circumstances... Full Review

  • As he did so well in Braveheart, Gibson explores the reasons men fight for their country rather than just reveling in blood and gore. Full Review

  • A bluntly effective faith-and-flag war drama, the true story of a remarkable hero with a knot of moral tension at its center. Full Review

  • For all that less-than-subtle cinematic magpieing, Hacksaw Ridge is a deeply gripping and engrossing film made with passion, if perhaps a little too much bombast. Full Review

  • This film is not for the faint-of-heart and nor should it be. Go armed with the knowledge that war is hell and Gibson doesn't want us to forget that. Full Review

The Talk
96 %

Want to see it

What say you?